A former Ridgewood employee admitted in court Wednesday that he stole $460,000 in quarters from the village’s parking meters, nj.com reported.
Thomas Rica, who worked as the Ridgewood Public Works Inspector, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft, and will avoid jail time as part of a plea agreement he made in Bergen County Superior Court, the report said.
According to nj.com, Rica must pay $460,000 back to the village, and will serve five years probation. The 43-year-old Hawthorne man will need to pay $69,600 at his June hearing, and $2,000 a month after that, the report said. If he misses a payment, he’ll likely go to jail, it said.
Rica, who began working in Ridgewood in 2004, admitted to taking quarters retrieved from parking meters that were stored in a room at Village Hall, the report says. According to NorthJersey.com, Rica stole over 1.8 million quarters over a 25-month period before his arrest last year.
Rica’s attorney said the man was not using the quarters for any illicit purpose, and blamed the thefts on “temptation,” nj.com reported.
“He was in a room with a lot of money.”
Village officials say additional security measures are now in place to help prevent something like this from happening again, the report said.